To stave off possible boredom while at home, every week Marhaba delves into the wonderful world of popular culture to find the best new TV series, movies, books, and music.


Coming to Netflix on 9 October, The Haunting of Bly Manor is a follow-up of sorts to The Haunting of Hill House and is loosely based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Set in the 1980s, an American au pair, Dani, arrives in London to care for two orphan children living in Bly Manor with their uncle Henry. What happened to the children’s parents, and how come the last au pair also met a sticky end? Cue the requisite ingredients for a suspenseful horror show: creepy children, mysterious supporting characters, seeing things that aren’t really there… If you’re still recovering from the previous Haunting series, this is yet another powerful piece of storytelling to keep you awake at night. Many of the cast have returned in new roles, which only adds to the sense of ghosts everywhere.


Peter (Oakes Fegley) adores his Grandpa Ed (Robert de Niro), until he is forced to share his bedroom when Grandpa moves in to the family home! The War With Grandpa is a feel-good family movie about the two mischief-makers, as Peter tries his best to drive out Grandpa. But Ed won’t be going without a fight and soon they are both pranking each other in ever-increasingly outrageous ways, much to the despair of mum Sally (Uma Thurman) and dad Arthur (Rob Riggle). Grandpa Ed is ably assisted by good friends Danny (Cheech Marin) and Jerry (Christopher Walken), showing there is no age limit to causing chaos – they mean war! Available at cinemas around town from 9 October.


What to Watch, Read and Listen to

In his first book in 25 years, comedian Jerry Seinfeld brings together his favourite jokes and observations since starting off on his road to comedy fame in New York as a 21-year-old student. He not only wrote his own material, he also saved it, culminating in more than 45 years worth of work. Seinfeld says the title Is this anything? is what every comedian says to every other comedian about any new piece they want to try. The book is a brilliant collection of material from one of America’s most successful comedians and gives new insights into the often harsh world of stand-up comedy.


What to Watch, Read and Listen to

Good news for rock fans – Bon Jovi is back! Recording of their 15th studio album Bon Jovi 2020 started in 2019 with the first single Unbroken released in November. As with all things these days, the album’s release was pushed back. This allowed lead singer Jon Bon Jovi to include two more songs written during quarantine, one of which, Do What You Can, represents the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Bon Jovi asked fans to contribute their own stories for the song and it was later unveiled at a benefit concert, raising USD6 mn for the state of New Jersey in the fight against the pandemic. Social commentary is discussed elsewhere on the album, which so far has garnered overwhelmingly rave reviews for the long-term rockers.

Author: Sarah Palmer

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